Dr. Lou’s coaching process involves seven steps. This systematic methodology provides a structured model to measure and evaluate performance-coaching results. Besides the structured model, Dr. Lou spends an extensive amount of dedicated time with the coaching participant. This provides the flexibility to adjust and customize the program to meet the specific needs of each participant.
Step 1: Establish coaching agreement. Coaching for talent development in business involves active communication between the coach, the coaching participant, and the stakeholders. Therefore, the terms of the coaching contract, agreement and guidelines are agreed upon at the very beginning. Two things happen at this point:
Step 2: Determine key stakeholders. The stakeholders are identified and ongoing support for the coaching program is clearly agreed upon. The key stakeholders can come from the Human Resources Department, senior management, the participant’s immediate manager or sponsor. These stakeholders will:
Step 3: Collect Assessment Data & Feedback Information gathering involves collecting feedback from the coaching participant, sponsors, 360-degree data and performance reviews. This comprehensive process will help design a developmental plan that is customized for that particular executive. Information is gathered from:
Step 4: Identify coaching objectives. We identify the most important objectives and specific performance goals for the coaching relationship. A measurable action plan is developed identifying the key behaviors to be changed and outlining specific metrics to be achieved. Designing objectives and metrics at this stage assures that the benefits are clearly achieved and the return on investment is known. We do this by:
Step 5: Implement Action Plan. At this stage we implement the required actions and behavior changes so the desired results will be achieved.
Step 6: Provide progressive review and feedback A monthly informal review of the coaching process is conducted. The coaching participant meets with his/her manager to:
Complete informal reviews are conducted during the third and sixth months. During these informal reviews feedback is collected from follow-up conversations with the key stakeholders to identify what changes have taken place and what still needs improvement.
Step 7: Deliver post-coaching follow-up. At the end of the coaching engagement, a review of the entire engagement takes place.
Since the coaching relationship is built on trust, communication and confidence, this is a time for the executive and the coach to get further acquainted.
We discuss personal history, career progression and personal/professional goals. The objective is for the coach to develop a good, initial feel for what’s important to the executive and begin to see the world through their eyes.
At this meeting we also discuss “rules of engagement” (e.g. confidentiality; how the coaching process works and each person’s role in that process).
The objective of executive coaching is to enhance on-the-job performance by providing feedback and guidance in real time.
We focus on what the executive wishes to change and the results they hope to achieve. We look at specific areas the individual wants to improve, and counterproductive behaviors they wish to reduce or eliminate. But we don’t lose sight of the talents and abilities that were responsible for the executive’s success to date. We also focus on maintaining – or even strengthening those strengths.
Frequently, the coach is able to share insights the executive may not have considered. As important, coaching helps the executive translate these insights into action.
In combination, we create an overall blueprint that establishes goals, and an action plan for the coaching process. Our objective is to identify strengths, areas for development and success criteria for the coaching assignment:
The executive and the coach meet regularly to implement the development plan and discuss alternative strategies to try going forward. The coach is there to monitor progress toward agreed-upon commitments and to help the executive learn alternative ways of managing problematic situations.
The coach may also function as a unique sounding board, benign “conscience” and devil’s advocate – a confidant with whom the executive can share observations and perceptions too delicate to discuss with others.
Coaching sessions are customized to the executive’s needs with a communication core as follows:
The coach acts as a catalyst to harness the executive’s own resources and focus them for greater success. We will offer suggestions that have worked for others and will help the executive examine whether their actions are consistent with their intentions. However, the executive remains responsible for making decisions and taking the steps necessary to produce the desired behavioral changes.
The coach may also suggest or forward relevant information (e.g. case studies, journal articles, and Internet websites) to assist with the executive’s growth.
Coaching tools we use include:
Einstein once said: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”. We agree.
We strive to evaluate progress in a way that makes sense: through a combination of measurable, objective assessments and subjective observations.
With the executive’s concurrence we may solicit input from relevant others, for observational updates of the person’s behavior, communication and leadership style. We also encourage the use of 360° assessment tools, which offer objective performance feedback and another useful measure of coaching success.
We schedule a follow-up meeting after the completion of the coaching engagement and discuss a plan to ensure the that personal and professional gains attained during the coaching relationship are sustainable going forward.
Company policies – Are there company policies that are particularly important to your business? Perhaps your unlimited paternity/maternity leave policy has endeared you to employees across the company. This is a good place to talk about that.
Executive profiles – A company is only as strong as its executive leadership. This is a good place to show off who’s occupying the corner offices. Write a nice bio about each executive that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.
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